MIAMI – Today, LATAM Airlines confirmed to Airways the contents of a leaked internal memo detailing plans for all of the airline’s Airbus A350s to exit their fleet. 

The fleet shakeup will be part of a restructuring plan in accordance with the airline’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

LATAM has faced significant troubles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including LATAM Argentina ceasing operations and LATAM Brasil declaring bankruptcy. 

The decision to remove the 11 Airbus A350s from their fleet will allow the airline to operate a more homogeneous, all Boeing long haul fleet. 

LATAM’s long haul fleet moving forward will consist of 71 aircraft, including Boeing 777s, 767s and 787s. 

In October of 2020, LATAM had already removed two Airbus A350s from its fleet, citing the need to reduce operating costs. 

The aircraft currently sit in Victorville, California, awaiting their next lessors. 

Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Where Will the Aircraft Go?

In December of 2019, Delta Air Lines (DL) successfully acquired 20% of LATAM, creating a strong South American partnership in the process. 

LATAM subsequently left the oneworld Alliance due to DL’s membership in the SkyTeam Alliance. 

The airlines additionally created a joint venture, allowing for a significant increase in flight options for passengers between the two airlines. 

Furthering their partnership, DL had agreed, in April 2020, to absorb 10 of LATAM’s Airbus A350 orders. 

However, the deal was short lived and was cancelled in May of 2020. It is possible that LATAM’s used Airbus A50s could continue flying with DL, as the travel industry begins to recover and aircraft leasing deals continue to be competitive. 

Featured Image: Ervin Eslami/Airways